Is It a Good Idea to Live Paycheck to Paycheck?

Is it a good idea when you’re building a multi-generational family to live paycheck to paycheck. And obviously, man, there’s a lot of reasons why you’re in seasons, where this is necessary. And so you might be trying to pay off debt. You might be newly married, but what should the longterm strategy be? And there’s actually a verse in the Bible that I wanted to point out, a passage, a story that has always made me think about this from a little bit different perspective. So you guys know the story. If you know much about the Bible, Jacob runs away from his family because he is being potentially hunted by his brother Esau. And he gets to the land where he meets their tribe and runs into this guy, Laban, who is his uncle and Laban has two daughters.

And he ends up marrying these two daughters, Leah and Rachel, and he begins to work. He works seven years for each daughter, that’s the dowery. So this story evolves where Jacob constantly is working for Laban and he’s living day to day, paycheck to paycheck. And it’s interesting what he says as this is going on, as he’s finished now the dowery, this is in Genesis 30. Jacob replies and he says to Laban, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you and how your flocks and herds have grown under my care. You had little indeed before I came, but your wealth has increased enormously. The Lord has blessed you through everything I’ve done. But now what about me? When can I start providing for my own family?” “What wages do you want?” Laban asked. Jacob replied, “Don’t give me anything, just do this one thing and I’ll continue to tend and watch over your flocks.”

And then Jacob develops this really elaborate plan for how he is going to acquire a herd or flock of his own. But what puzzled me, what I wanted to talk a little bit to you about Jeff, is that when Jacob says, “When can I start providing for my own family?” What does he mean by that? Because he is providing for his family. His family is eating, he’s provided for 14 years for his family. And I think what he’s saying is I don’t have any assets. That’s what he’s saying. I don’t have anything that’s going to actually produce income. If I separate from you Laban, then what is my family going to own? And so this is the way that all the patriarchs thought, they thought about developing assets.

And this is again, 14 years into Jacob’s story. So this is not really super young Jacob, but as he’s moving into the middle of his life, he’s realizing I need to make sure that I own and acquire some assets that are going to provide some income for my family. I remember the first time I really thought deeply about this was when I read the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, some awesome books. Just about the paradigm shift between simply living paycheck to paycheck, which a lot of people think about and actually acquiring some assets.

And this can be done on the side. This does not have to be your main thing, but it is something to think about. Does family provision, especially multi-generational family provision, where you may inherit the responsibility to provide for your parents, for your wife’s parents, for your children, for your grandchildren, that you want to really create really a structure where a lot of them can be provided for. It’s very difficult to do that paycheck to paycheck. And so you begin to think about, is there something that I can own that can provide some income so that we can start to develop multiple streams of income for our household so that no matter how our responsibility expands, and that’s really what happens in multi-generational families is your responsibilities expand.

You need to have a value or a certain place in your mind or your strategy for provision for, how can we potentially acquire some assets as a family?

Yeah, exactly. And I think one thing we’ll say here that we’re not saying is we’re not saying, we’re not trying to guilt people into thinking that if they have a office job or just get a check, but then they don’t own any assets. We’re not saying that. But what we’re saying is, are you even thinking about that conversation to level up? Because I do think you might not turn the corner from wage building or wage receiving to asset building maybe for 30 years, but are you pointed that direction? Because that is the right direction for building a multi-generational family team on mission. And not just from the sense of like, I think kingdom power and all these different things, but also from ministry. We can look at hospitals and universities and all these different things that are enormously powerful, especially in the West.

And if you trace them all the way back in their history, there’s a lot of family starting those. And there’s a lot of what’s called endowments, which is actually people understanding wealth building and understanding assets and understanding how to do it multi-generationally and how to let your money work for you to make money so that you can expand and reign and rule, which is the garden mandate. So we can do that in a Jesus way, in a gentle way, in a shrewd way, in a generous way, but that’s still the same mandate. And we read the gospels.

I think some of us, we go one side or the other. We have this poverty theology and Jesus says, “Sell everything and give it to the poor.” And man, if he speaks that to you, just like in the gospels, you need to do that.

You need to not walk away sad and disobedient like the lawyer, but do you also know how we’re even reading Luke and how we’re even reading Acts? It’s by a guy named Theopolis who was rich and wealthy and multi-generationally had to be, multi-generationally have assets to even bankroll it, but he’s the guy who bankrolled and paid for Luke to go write those two books. So it’s like, hey, unless we have that guy, we don’t read those two books. And so I just think we need to understand that this is how the kingdom works. There is this level of building strong teams for the kingdom, so that then you can have power for the kingdom in a certain way.

And now of course it’s not like it’s needed or necessary, but I do think pointing that direction. And one thing I’ll say how we think about this personally, especially younger and not having a ton of assets yet.

We like to think about it as like there’s two different types of earning money or income, at least in a really basic way or value, I guess. And there’s the wage receiving, like I said, remember, we do something for services or whatever, and we receive wages for that. Or there’s the asset building, which then become income producing properties or investments or stuff of that nature. So because we’re younger, I would say we’re mostly now in this wage. And I think mostly people start in the wage receiving bucket.

But what my goal is, is when I receive wages, I want to dump it into the asset building bucket. And then that’s how you have to think about it. It’s not like once that you’re not doing a good job or whatever, if you’re doing one or the other, no, it’s just strategic of like, I want to take the money over here and I’ll just then put it back into the world for my bills and all this stuff, but I want to be shrewd to do all those things so that I have money leftover to then put over here in this bucket.

And the more you can take from this bucket and put it over here over 30 years, the more that will be an enormous, huge part of building your multi-generational family team on mission.

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